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15 Apr, 2017 18:42

World's oldest person dies in Italy aged 117

World's oldest person dies in Italy aged 117

The oldest person in the world and the last person alive that was born in the 19th century has died. 117-year-old Emma Morano passed away at her home in Verbania in Northern Italy on Saturday.

“A life that is not easy is the one that was lived by Emma,” Mayor of Verbania Silvia Marchionini told Adnkronos. Morano died peacefully in her sleep Saturday afternoon. Her funeral is expected to be held early next week.

Morano, who celebrated her 117th birthday in November last year, officially became the world’s oldest person following the death of 116-year-old Susannah Mushatt Jones in New York in May 2016.

A celebration entitled, The woman who saw three centuries, was held in Verbania in honor of her 117th birthday. Morano was unable to attend as she had been bed-bound for four years at the time, instead receiving visitors at her home.

She credited her longevity to “two eggs a day, and that's it. And cookies. But I do not eat much, because I have no teeth," she told AFP.

READ MORE: Last person alive born in 19th century celebrates 117th birthday

Born in 1899, Morano lived through two world wars and 20 US presidents. She spent most of her life without a partner after leaving her violent husband in 1938. Her only child died in infancy and Morano supported herself working in a factory producing jute sacks.

Morano fell short of the official title of world’s oldest verified person on record, which is still held by Frenchwoman Jeanne Louise Calment who died in 1997, aged 122 years.

Unofficially, Mbah Gotho of Indonesia is the world’s oldest living person, having clocked up an impressive 146 years. Official records in Indonesia back up his claims but these have yet to be verified by an independent third party, leaving a Guinness World Record just out of his grasp.